“Man, your timing could not be better!” Lenny had marveled, when Jeremy called him, not even 24 hours after losing his construction gig.
“Yeah, he already agreed to it, on the spot,” Jeremy explains, “not that it really took much convincing. He was basically worried he would have to do this caretaker crap himself. He asked me to do it, actually, that’s how this started.”
As Jeremy recites Kidwell’s phone number, so Lenny can call him to discuss pay and some other particulars, Lenny says, “thanks, man — can’t say I’ve ever had somebody else line up work for me before!”
“Yeah, no problem,” he tells his uncle.
Yet as they continue chatting, Jeremy’s only half focused, for his mind has suddenly drifted off to another thought which just popped into his head, somehow. He’s glancing back at the kitchen, watching his parents talk and sort through a number of boxes they’ve brought in from the car, various restaurant items they’re sifting through now as they decide what to put where. In his single-minded focus to shovel off any temptation with this caretaker assignment, while at the same time hopefully hook up Lenny and keep that job in the family, he kind of overlooked something even more obvious: the retreat kitchen still needs staffing, too. And so as soon as he’s off the phone with Lenny, drifting upstairs to his bedroom for some privacy, he calls Kidwell with yet another proposal.
Which takes no convincing at all. After an exceptionally brief chat, during which time the retreat’s mastermind sounds borderline euphoric to learn that Jeremy has not one but two potential kitchen workers on standby (“yeah, with everything else, I hadn’t quite gotten around to tackling that situation yet…,” Kidwell admitted) he is back downstairs, trying to think of the best way to broach this topic. It’s weird how invested he feels, like he’s taken part ownership in an enterprise he has nothing to do with. True, his girlfriend, uncle, and a couple other lifelong comrades have already committed, but Jeremy has no personal stake, in any sense of the phrase, if this doesn’t succeed.
Judging from his parents’ faces, they too consider it weird when he finally gets around to bringing this up, a number of minutes into their conversation. As far as they knew, while aware that…